• (a)

    • Terms Used In Tennessee Code 67-5-2502

      • Clerk of court: An officer appointed by the court to work with the chief judge in overseeing the court's administration, especially to assist in managing the flow of cases through the court and to maintain court records.
      • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
      • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
      • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
      • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
      • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
      • Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
      • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
      • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
      • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
      • Person: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Personal property: includes money, goods, chattels, things in action, and evidences of debt. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
      • Property: includes both personal and real property. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Record: means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in a perceivable form. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
      • signed: includes a mark, the name being written near the mark and witnessed, or any other symbol or methodology executed or adopted by a party with intention to authenticate a writing or record, regardless of being witnessed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
      • Tax entity: includes counties, cities, metropolitan governments, municipal corporations, quasi-municipal corporations, and political subdivisions having authority to levy a property tax. See Tennessee Code 67-5-105
      • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
      • Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

      (1) In the event of a sale under a decree of the court, the property shall be advertised in one (1) sale notice, which notice shall set out the names of the owners of the different tracts or parcels of land and describe the property and set out the amount of judgment against each defendant. The description of the property shall include a concise description, that means a reference to a deed book and page that contains a complete legal description of the property or the official property number as provided by § 67-5-806, and may also include a common description of the property, which may include street name and number, map and parcel number, number of acres, or any other description which might help identify the property as it is commonly known. The purpose of the common description is to help identify the property that is described in the concise description. Any error or defect in the common description shall not in any way void any sale of the property; provided, that the concise description makes accurate reference to the last conveyance of the property by correct reference to a deed book and page or the official property number as provided by § 67-5-806.

    • (2) A notice of the tax sale shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the parcels are located, or, with the approval of the court, the notice may be published by printed handbills publicly posted in the county where the parcels are located in such manner as the court may determine will provide adequate public awareness of the sale. Any such publication shall first occur at least twenty (20) days before the sale date.

    • (3) Notice to parties or others in delinquent tax suits and sales shall be governed by the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, except as modified in this chapter or as they may be inconsistent with the statutory scheme for the collection of delinquent property taxes set out in this chapter, and may be forwarded to the address of an owner of the property that is on record in the office of the assessor of property. If there is any remainder after the proceeds of the sale have been distributed pursuant to § 67-5-2501, the party receiving notice pursuant to this subdivision (a)(3) shall also be given notice of the amount of proceeds resulting from the sale, the division of such proceeds, and the remainder.

    • (4) A person, who is either expressly or impliedly authorized by another person to receive mail on behalf of the other person, is authorized to sign a receipt on behalf of the other person accepting registered or certified mail or correspondence delivered by an alternative delivery service, containing either a summons, complaint, or summary of the proceeding or a notice that has been or is to be filed in a tax proceeding. In every tax proceeding, the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that a person who signed such a receipt for a different person and was, in fact, at that time expressly prohibited in writing from accepting mail for the second person, shall be upon the person challenging the sufficiency of the service or notice.

    • (5)

      • (A) Service on or notice to a nominee or agent of an owner, where the nominee or agent is identifiable from information provided in the deed or deed of trust, shall constitute service on or notice to the owner.

      • (B) Service on or notice to a nominee or agent of an owner, where the nominee or agent is identifiable from information provided in the deed or deed of trust, shall constitute service on or notice to all assignees of the owner if evidence of the assignment has not been recorded in the office of the register of deeds in the county where the parcel is located.

      • (C) This subdivision (a)(5) is intended to be procedural and remedial in application and is made applicable retroactively to the extent allowed by law.

    • (6) The clerk or special master conducting the sale may, on suggestion of the delinquent tax attorney, withdraw any parcel from the sale.

  • (b) It is the responsibility of the property owner to register the property owner’s name and address with the assessor of property of the county in which the land lies.

  • (c)

    • (1) For the purposes of this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

      • (A) “Diligent effort to give actual notice of the proceedings” means a reasonable effort to give notice which is reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances and conditions, to apprise interested persons of the pendency of the proceedings in time to afford them an opportunity to prevent the loss of their interest in the parcel. Such effort shall be such as one desirous of actually informing the persons might reasonably adopt to accomplish it. Such effort does not, however, require that an interested person receive actual notice. Nor does it require the plaintiff to search records or sources of information in addition to that information available in the specific offices listed in subdivision (c)(2);

      • (B) “Interested person”, “person owning an interest in a parcel” and “owner” means a person, including any governmental entity, that owns an interest in a parcel and includes a person, including any governmental entity, that holds a lien against a parcel or is the assignee of a holder of such a lien. “Interested person” also includes a person or entity named as nominee or agent of the owner of the obligation that is secured by the deed or a deed of trust and that is identifiable from information provided in the deed or a deed of trust, which shall include a mailing address or post office box of the nominee or agent. However, a person named as a trustee under a deed of trust, contract lien or security instrument, is not included in such definition unless the person has a separate interest in the parcel;

      • (C) “Parcel” means a tract or item of real or personal property which is the subject of a judicial proceeding to obtain a personal judgment for the taxes owing or to enforce the lien securing the payment of delinquent property taxes by a sale of the tract or item; and

      • (D) “Proceeding” and “proceedings” means a judicial proceeding filed by a governmental entity for the purpose of collecting delinquent property taxes owing the entity or including the enforcement of the first lien securing such taxes. The court shall have jurisdiction to determine all issues arising in the proceedings including issues arising before and after the confirmation of the sale of a parcel, including redemption, disposition of excess proceeds and all issues arising pursuant to § 67-5-2507.

    • (2) The delinquent tax attorney shall make a reasonable search of the public records in the offices of the assessor of property, trustee, the register of deeds, and the local office where wills are recorded, seeking to identify and locate all interested persons as to each parcel listed on the county and municipal delinquent tax lists filed in the cause. The court shall set a reasonable attorney’s fee per parcel, as defined in subdivision (c)(1), per year of delinquent taxes owed and per taxing entity, for the services required by this subsection (c), which shall become an additional expense of the proceeding and shall be secured by the first lien in favor of the tax entity pursuant to § 67-5-2101. The fee shall be charged to each pending parcel listed on the county and municipal delinquent tax lists filed in the tax proceeding and each parcel subsequently turned over for collection in a tax proceeding.

    • (3) The delinquent tax attorney shall make a diligent effort to give actual notice of the proceedings to all interested persons, as identified by the searches described in subdivision (c)(2).

  • (d) A tax sale notice, which shall be the same or substantially the same as the advertised notice, may be recorded in the register of deeds’ office for the county in which the property is located upon the setting of the tax sale date. The recording cost shall be divided between the parcels of land listed in the tax sale notice and added as an additional court cost to each such parcel of land. This tax sale notice shall be recorded for informational purposes only and no release shall be required.

  • (e)

    • (1) Any owner of a surface interest in property overlying a mineral interest may record a declaration of the owner’s interest in such land with the register of deeds in the county where the mineral interest is located. Declaration forms shall be available at the register’s office and shall include the name of the owner of mineral interest beneath the surface. Declaration forms received by the register’s office shall be recorded by the register in the dormant mineral interest record. Declaration forms shall be indexed under the names of the mineral interest owners as grantor or grantors and under the names of the surface owners as grantee or grantees. Recording the declaration of surface ownership shall entitle surface owners to receive notice described in subdivision (e)(2).

    • (2) In the event of the sale of severed mineral interest property pursuant to § 67-5-2501, the clerk of the court shall send, by certified return receipt mail, a notice of proceedings regarding the sale of that mineral interest to any owner of the surface interest who has recorded a declaration of surface ownership as described in subdivision (e)(1).

    • (3)

      • (A) The owner of surface interest who has recorded a declaration of surface ownership according to subdivision (e)(1), and who has received notice of delinquent tax proceedings according to this section may, within one hundred twenty (120) days after the sale pursuant to § 67-5-2501, purchase the mineral interest beneath the owner’s tract for a percentage of the total amount of such sale, which percentage shall be derived from the percentage that the owner’s surface interest bears to the total surface area of the property connected with the mineral interest sold at such tax sale.

      • (B) Such surface owner shall tender to the clerk of court such amount, including a pro-rated amount of the penalty and interest paid, at the same percentage rate. The clerk shall, within thirty (30) days of receipt of such amount pay the same amount to the person who purchased the mineral interest at the tax sale. The surface owner shall, in addition, pay the clerk for the clerk’s services in such transaction.

  • (f) Any sale under this section may be adjourned and rescheduled one (1) time for cause without an additional newspaper publication or decree, upon compliance with the following provisions:

    • (1) The sale must be held within one (1) year of the originally scheduled date;

    • (2) The postponement or adjournment must be to a specified date and time, and must be posted or announced at the date, time, and location of the scheduled sale date; and

    • (3) If the postponement or adjournment is for more than thirty (30) days, notice of the new date, time, and location must be mailed no less than ten (10) calendar days prior to the sale date via regular mail to the parties to the suit, with a copy of such notice filed with the clerk of court.